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Other Libraries

Art & Architecture Libraries

Our librarians have compiled a comprehensive list of libraries with art, design and architecture or image collections in New York City, including Historical Societies, museums, and other research libraries. Each library has its own access policy.


American Museum of Natural History Library
Central Park West at 79th Street, 4th Floor
Tel: (212) 769-5400
Access: Tuesday through Thursday, 2:00PM to 5:30PM
Collection: Over 440,000 volumes, more than one million images in the photographic collection, and over 1500 film titles related to zoology, paleontology, geology, anthropology, and associated fields.


Brooklyn Historical Society Library
128 Pierrepont Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201, Tel: (718) 624-0890.
Access: Open to qualified researchers. $5.00/day reader's fee for non-members. ID required.
Note: The BHSL building is undergoing restoration. Contact the BHS at
2 MetroTech Center, Suite 4200, Brooklyn, NY 11201.
Tel: (718) 254-9830, Fax: (718) 254-9869.
Collection: Extensive non-circulating collection of Brooklyn histories, city directories and real estate atlases from 1855 to the 1930s. Also, 90,000 images of Brooklyn and Long Island people and places. Subject coverage includes Brooklyn and area history, architecture, art, decorative arts, genealogy.


Brooklyn Museum of Art
200 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, NY 11238.
Art Reference Library
Tel: (718) 638-5000 x. 310
Access: Wednesday and Thursday, 1:30 to 4:45PM; call for appointment.
Collection: 180,000 books, 200 current periodical subscriptions in a non-circulating collection specializing in art history - including American painting, sculpture, and decorative arts; prints and drawings; costume and textiles; African, Oceania, New World and Asian art.
Wilbour Library of Egyptology
Tel: (718) 638-5000 x. 215, 219
Access: By appointment.
Collection: Comprehensive research facility for ancient Egypt and the Western hemisphere. Research materials on Greece and Rome.


Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Smithsonian Institution
Doris and Henry Dreyfuss Memorial Study Center
2 East 91st Street, New York, NY 10128, Tel: (212) 860-6883
Access: By appointment.
Collection: Decorative texts, textiles, wallcoverings and design. Rare books on related subjects. Picture collection. Papers of Donald Deskey, Henry Dreyfuss, Ladislav Sutnar.


Frick Art Reference Library
10 East 71st Street, New York, NY 10021
Tel: (212) 288-8700
Access: Open to graduate students and researchers with serious interest in art. ID required.
Collection: Art from the fourth to the twentieth centuries, including manuscript illumination. Large collection of sales, auction, and exhibition catalogs. In-house periodical index and picture collection with subject and title access.


Grolier Club Library
47 East 60th Street, New York, NY 10022, Tel: (212) 838-6690
Access: By appointment.
Collection: Devoted to the arts of the book and including rare bookseller and auction catalogs.


Hispanic Society of America Library
613 West 155th Street, New York, NY 10032, Tel: (212) 926-2234
Access: Students and researchers. ID required. Tues.-Sat. 10:00am-4:30pm; Sunday 1:00-4:00pm
Collection: Thousands of manuscripts and over 100,000 books are contained in an important center for research on Spanish and Portuguese art, history, and literature.


International Center of Photography Library
1130 5th Avenue, New York, NY 10128, Tel: (212) 860-1787
Access: By appointment.
Collection: Photography books from the 19th century to the present. Over 4,000 clipping files on photographers with biographical data from primary materials.


M. Knoedler & Co.
19 East 70th Street, New York, NY 10021
Art Reference Library, Tel: (212) 794-0567
Access: By appointment.
Collection: Monographs on 19th- and 20th-century European and American artists. Strong collection of auction and exhibition catalogs, many annotated with inserted reviews and clippings. Art periodicals.


Metropolitan Museum of Art
1000 Fifth Avenue at 82nd Street New York, NY 10028-0198
Thomas J. Watson Library 
1000 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10028, Tel: (212) 650-2225
Access: Open to scholars of college age and above. Registration with photo ID is required; you may register and place requests online. Material from most departmental libraries (see below) may be requested for use in Watson Library. Hours: T-W-Th, 9:30-5:15; Fri 9:30-6:00; Sat 10-2. Visit the library’s website ( for details and access to the libraries’ catalog.
Collection: Approximately 800,000 volumes, including monographs and exhibition catalogs; over 11,000 periodical titles; and more than 125,000 auction and sale catalogs. Extensive collection of electronic resources (including numerous indexes, encyclopedias, dictionaries, online journals, databases, and Internet resources), autograph letters, and ephemera files relating to individual artists and to the history of the Museum.


Cloisters Library and Archives 
Fort Tryon Park, New York, NY 10040, Tel: (212) 396-5319
Access: Open to qualified researchers and graduate students by appointment.
Collection: Medieval art, medieval gardens. Collection contains books and periodicals and an extensive photograph collection.
Robert Goldwater Library, Department of the Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas
1000 5th Avenue, New York, NY 10028, Tel: (212) 570-3707
Access: Materials available upon request for use in Watson Library. Researchers with special requests for Goldwater Library material may make appointments in advance via email for Tuesdays and Thursdays, 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Appointment requests must be received at least 24 hours in advance. Email:
Collection: Noncirculating library dedicated to the documentation of the visual arts of sub-Saharan Africa, the Pacific Islands, and Native and Precolumbian America. Extensive holdings in archeology, anthropology and ethnology; and a photography collection of objects in the museum and other private and public collections.


Irene Lewisohn Costume Reference Library 
1000 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10028, Tel: (212) 650-2723
Access: The Lewisohn Library will be closed through early 2014. Researchers may continue to search the holdings of The Costume Institute Library in Watsonline, the Museum libraries’ online catalog, to see what is available, and may request these materials for use in the Thomas J. Watson Library.
Collection: Fashion history. Collection of original sketches by Mainbocher. Swatch books, sketch and scrap books, fashion plates.
The Nolen Library in the Ruth and Harold D. Uris Center for Education
1000 5th Avenue, New York, NY 10028, Tel: (212) 570-3788
Access: Open to all museum visitors, students, teachers. Hours: T-W-Th 9:30-5:00, Fri 9:30-6, Sat 10-6, Sun 10-5.
Collection: Open stacks. General art appreciation and history reference collection, focusing on the Museum’s current exhibitions, permanent collection, and art history in general. Access to all electronic resources collected by the Museum Libraries.

Municipal Art Society
Information Exchange/Greenacre Reference Resource
457 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10022, Tel: (212) 935-3960 x. 241, 243
Access: Telephone reference. Open to the public by appointment.
Collection: New York City architecture, historic preservation, planning, greening and open space issues.


Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) Study Centers
Tel.: (718) 708-9400
Undergoing restoration. The Museum will reopen Winter 2004-05. Some of the Museum's Study Centers are closed or have special hours.
Collection: MOMA's study centers offer access to specialized research material and to the Museum's collections. Each center has its own focus and policies. For general queries about works in the Museum collection, or if you do not know where to begin your research, please contact the Library.


New York Public Library (NYPL) Library
Mid-Manhattan Library, Picture Collection (Available Online) 
455 Fifth Avenue , New York, NY 10016, Tel: (212) 340-0833
Access: Open to the public. Pictures can be borrowed with a New York Public Library card and images can be searched and viewed on the online version of the collection.
Collection: Encyclopedic in scope: 5 million pictures, art subjects, decorative arts, costume.
Research Libraries, Art & Architecture Department
Fifth Avenue & 42nd Street, New York, NY, Tel: (212) 930-0834/0835
Access: Open to college-level students and above.
Collection: Art, art history, architecture, decorative arts from prehistoric to contemporary. Many monographs in Western European languages. 100,000 artists on microfilm, electronic indexes.


Pierpont Morgan Library
29 East 36th Street, New York, NY 10016, Tel: (212) 685-0008
Access: Open to scholars, graduate students, curators and librarians, and collectors. By appointment and with written application only.
Collection: Medieval and Renaissance illuminated manuscripts, drawings, and early printed books.


New Museum of Contemporary Art
Soho Center Library
583 Broadway, New York, NY 10012, Tel: (212) 219-1222
Access: Open to the public, by appointment.
Collection: Contemporary art, art criticism and theory.


Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum Library
1071 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10128, Tel: (212) 423-3830
Access: Collectors and graduate students by appointment.
Collection: Twentieth-century art books, periodicals, exhibition catalogs, artists' books, special collection on Gauguin and Costakis.


Queens Borough Public Library
Central Library, Fine Art & Recreation
89-11 Merrick Boulevard, Jamaica, NY, 11432, Tel: (718) 990-0755 (Reference), 0757 (Audio & Picture Collections), 0766 (Film & Video)
Access: Open to the public.
Collection: Art, music, theater, dance, games, and sports, in addition to an extensive collection of videos, DVDs, CDs, cassettes, CD-ROMs, and pictures on selected topics.


Whitney Museum of American Art Library
945 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10126, Tel: (212) 570-3648, 3649
Access: By appointment.
Collection: Nineteenth- and twentieth-century American art books, catalogs and vertical files.

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